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Florida property insurance situation drawing concern as Hurricane Idalia draws closer

Jun 18, 2023

Glenna Milberg, Reporter

MIAMI – As people across the state of Florida brace for the impact of Hurricane Idalia, it could ultimately prove to be a test for the state’s already volatile insurance industry.

Whatever Idalia might damage, every Floridian might pay.

Willie Mae Gaiter has never made a claim on her storm insurance, but her bill this month just about doubled.

“I almost cried, I even said a bad word,” she said.

Expected and predicted for everyone in Florida with property insurance as state lawmakers made moves to shore up the private market that could take another year or so to stabilize.

Back in July, Gov. Ron DeSantis told a radio host, “So knock on wood, we won’t have a big storm this summer. Then I think you’re going to see companies see an advantage.”

Idalia may blow that concept away.

More than two-thirds of the state is currently under a pre-Idalia state of emergency,

Citizens Property Insurance, the insurer of last resort, is bracing.

Local 10 News’ Glenna Milberg asked Michael Peltier who works for Citizens, if there is a chance that damage from Idalia might put Citizens in a risky default position.

“Short answer, not trying to be evasive, we just don’t know right now,” Peltier said.

The new reforms are also meant to spare Citizens, which now has more than a million customers, from carrying more risk than it can cover, facing Idalia now while still paying damages from Hurricane Ian and even Hurricane Irma.

“In the event Citizens exhausts its ability to pay claims, we’re required to levy surcharges,” said Peltier.

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